Imo State Governors are known for probing their successors. Well, it is not a bad thing after all, except if “Prober” has alterior motive to undo the “Probee”.
Except Governor AchikeUdenwa, who succeed COL TankoZubairu and has no need to look into the past of a Military Administrator, all other Governors in Imo State had probed their predecessors.
One of the major reasons Achike Udenwa is yet to completely forgive his successor, Chief Ikedi Ohakim was that Ohakim nearly opened the Pandora Box by subtly looking into Udenwa’s stewardship by setting up a Judicial Inquiry to verify the Accounts Book of his predecessor.
Each time I meet Udenwa’s Apostles, they always tell me that that singular act was what may never make them forgive Ohakim in life.
Now, when Owelle Rochas Okorocha took over from Ohakim, he so much looked for whatever could be found to nail Ohakim to no avail.
Ohakim had thought of future and prepared well. Everything he did was according to the Books. And he had a sound Chief of Staff in the person of his younger brother, Sir Emma Ohakim, who was an intelligent Banker.
In fact in one of the workshops held for his Aides at Tinapa Resort, Calabar, Cross River State, Ohakim made it clear to all his appointees that whoever was cought putting his fingers in the Tiller must be prepared to face the consequences as he was ready to even be a witness in court against such erring subordinate.
Okorocha ruminated every nook and cranny to indict Ohakim but failed.
It was then Deputy Governor, Sir Jude Agbaso who was “fronted” before the Journalists reeling out how Ohakim raped Imo State.
Months later, the same Agbaso was removed from office in the most ignoble manner, which still reeks of nostalgia till tomorrow.
The same people who pushed Agbaso to read the “Fatwa” against Ohakim were the same people that disgraced him out of office on account of well-arranged plot that is yet to go away in Imo political history.
Okorocha himself when he was in office did not act what he preached. What he did in office is better imagined than to be real.
So, when his successor EmekaIhedioha arrived, he instituted various Committees to look into the Okorocha era. And what they exhumed was too much a stench that could be smelt kilometers away.
However, Okorocha was stripped open and Ihedioha was at the point of nailing him, when they plotted the Supreme Court sacrilege that “over threw” Ihedioha out of government house.
Many swore that it was in desperation to protect his skin that Okorocha threw everything he had into supporting Governor Hope Uzodinma’s successorship coup against Ihedioha.
Okorocha had felt that he would get a more better safe-landing under the governorship regime of Uzodinma than that of Ihedioha that was already gradually tightening to loose.
This could be seen on how Okorocha’s fellowers even celebrated Ihedioha’s ouster than the core Camphope Apostles.
Unfortunately, that celebration by Okorocha and his followers was too early, as it is not yet Uhuru for them, as Uzodinma has continued the probe of Okorocha because he has refused to disband the judiciary committees set up by Ihedioha to unveil Okorocha’s financial dealings while in office.
Many say that allowing the ” Ihedioha Committee ” to continue digging into Okorocha’s past roles in Government is a ploy to keep him quiet and in check, until Uzodinma is done with fixing his administration, which has now completely shut out the Okorocha “Rescue Mission” camp as against the earlier agreement that they would be involved in Uzodinma’s government.
But to the shock of Okorocha and his political family, Uzodinma has not appointed not even one person from Okorocha’s camp among the legion of his Aides, both those with portfolio and those without, months they were inaugurated.
As Senator Uzodinma took over from Ihedioha on January, 14, 2020 through the Supreme Court pronouncement, the governor had done his business without much talk or being inquisitive.
Therefore, many has thought that because of the circumstances he came into office, Uzodinma may not want to ” Shake Table” and proceed to face the business of Governance, since Imo State is still rocking from the Okorocha brutal administration, which Ihedioha was trying to correct before he was removed from office.
However, the “usual Imo State usual”, happened as the present Imo State Commissioner for Information and Strategy made a Press Release where he said that the Government of Hon EmekaIhedioha, within eight months it spent in office, mismanaged the sum of Nineteen Billion, Sixty three Million Naira (N19.63B).
This latest “discovery” has dominated Imo political space. It seems to be the focal issue now bothering the government of Imo State led by Senator Hope Uzodinma.
There is nothing wrong about such probe and it is not even strange to the Imo State political lexicon.
Ohakim probed Udenwa, Okorocha probed Ohakim, Ihedioha probed Okorocha, Uzodinma probed Ihedioha and if history should repeat itself, Uzodinma would also be probed by his successor. When Ohakim was probing Udenwa, the State was “functioning ” with his Clean and Green project moving rapidly to the extent that in the end, Imo people saw it practicalized.
When Okorocha commenced his probe of Ohakim, things were moving on. It was in his second term that nothing happened, and he shockingly demolished the ones he built during the first term.
As Ihedioha looked into the Okorocha’s accounts he left it for Constituted Committees to deal with and faced his job and assignment as a Governor.
Within eight months, Ihedioha restored back the dwindled confidence of Imo people to government.
The moribund and forgotten Agencies and Parastatals were reinvigorated and the demoralized Imo Civil Service and Pensioners were mobilized into action with prompt payment of their monies, no matter how little the package was.
Road constructions were on-going in every part of Imo State. The dead Local Government Areas came back to life to the surprise of even executing major projects simultaneously.
Imo State then became a beehive of action and there was no more dull moments for the entire population.
Now, governor Uzodinma will be approaching 100 Days in office by next month April, and Imo people have eagerly been waiting to see what will give.
He is new on the job, and certainly must take some time to embrace the new challenges, but he should not allow “Ihedioha, Ihedioha, Ihedioha” be his main focus and policy.
What Imo people want now is a better life no matter who is the Governor, or what he met in office. The only way to shut the mouth of Imo populace is for Uzodinma to out perform Ihedioha’s brief stay with action and practical issues that will put Bread on the table of the poor masses.
Since the Uzodinma administration has decided to probe Ihedioha, they should go ahead, but should not take it as a state policy which should be given all time and attention in the world. Infact probe is no achievement to any Government, but good delivery of policies. The masses want good governance for now, and Ihedioha can return the money if found guilty.
And again, the Ohakim, Okorocha and Ihedioha probes of their precedeccessors followed “Due process” by Constituting Committees or Panels.
So, which Committee or Panel unveiled this allegation of N19.63B?
It was said that the Auditor-General of Imo State has asked to be allowed to “recover” these funds. So, how did he arrive at this amount? Would he probe and also recover? Because till now nobody has told Imo people how the Uzodinma administration arrived at the discovery of this sum.
Why Ihedioha faces the “allegation”, the Governor should speed work on Imo roads as the rains approach, pay workers and pensioners, provide enabling ground for IMO citizens to thrive. Then he can go ahead with all the probes in the world.
Imo people are the most difficult people to govern in Nigeria. They have remained quiet these days waiting what new Uzodinma is bringing to the Table. They administration can go ahead and probe Ihedioha, including inviting him to answer for himself. But for now Imo State needs direction. Probing Ihedioha should not be taken as a State policies. Imo State is bigger than that.